In a past life I was paid to put words and pictures together to tell stories. In another past life, I played around with paint and pencils. I really miss doing that stuff, so it's not an exaggeration to say that Jon and I spent A LOT of time on our invitations.
It was a given that we'd design them ourselves. We're pretty simple people who appreciate clean lines. Someone saw how we decorated my condo for showings and called our style "kick-ass contemporary." I am proud of that. And each detail of our invitation (and wedding) has a meaning--both Jon and I are very sentimental. The first gift I gave him, for Christmas 2005, was the interactive board game Scene It--sports edition. It's also what his mother gave him that year. He kept them both because he didn't want to choose which to return. Silly boy.
CC has a friend who started her own letterpress business, Penelope's Press, which she runs out of her home. Debbie's so good she's attracted clients all over the country and the world, often sending orders out as far as Japan. Last Christmas CC got me letterpress notecards with my name on them, and I was so impressed I had to meet the woman who had printed them in her garage. No powwow at Debbie's kitchen table was shorter than 2 hours. We bonded over books, Anne of Green Gables and how people either understand blogging or just don't get it (here's her post about us). She's personable, fun and really creative. Plus the lady makes beautiful products. I knew our design was in good hands.
Jon's favorite color is orange. If that wasn't one of our colors, anyone who has known him for more than five minutes would think he'd had nothing to do with the planning--which couldn't be farther from the truth. My favorite color is green, but I kept coming back to blue (my high school, my college, my favorite NFL team all have the same orange and blue scheme). Back when CC was getting married, she said that I could wear whatever I wanted. We shopped and shopped, but I never could decide. But I did have this swath of flowy fabric in a gorgeous shade of not-quite-teal-not-quite-green that I just adored. I ended up making the dress out of that fabric, finishing just as we were about to hit the beach for the ceremony. I still love that color, and it's a lovely complement to orange. Paper Source calls it "peacock," but everybody seems to have their own idea of what color that means.
Jon and I went through about 50 sketches, a ridiculous amount of time turning the winner into a proper-looking file, and I-don't-even-want-to-admit how much nitpicky tweaking before we got this:
It's pretty obvious, but Jon's from near L.A. and I'm near/in Chicago. We've been on a long journey and we were finally getting married. Outside, in a gazebo.
The "peacock" is all the same color, but seems to look different depending on the light. Each piece was hand-inked by Debbie with two passes through her letterpress, one for peacock and one for orange. She mixes the colors by hand.
One thing we spent an exorbitant amount of time on that essentially NOBODY looked at? This directions insert. Jon took great pains to research and create a QR code, and I slaved over making these maps accurate yet easy to follow (which wasn't easy because the place is a bit of a hideaway). Also, we spent time creating an entire wedding website that no one visited. Sigh.
The first time I looked at the files after I'd sent them to Debbie, I wanted to kick myself because I didn't feel like I'd tweaked the spacing enough. I couldn't look at the invitations for weeks. But months later, I'm really happy with the way they turned out. I wouldn't want them any other way. Isn't how it always goes?